World Compliment Day: how to show your appreciation for one another
|Date:||01 March 2023|
It’s World Compliment Day today! In light of this, Communication and Information Studies student Pola talks about her experience with receiving and giving compliments and how these relate to certain love languages. Giving compliments is not the only way in which you can let someone know you appreciate them after all ;). Want to know how you can also show your appreciation? Read along!
Some fun facts about Pola: ‘I’m passionate about asking personal questions, creating nicknames, and coffee. Within my studies, I’m particularly interested in intercultural dialogue and solutions to awkward social situations!’
Imagine a scenario: you’re waiting in line in the cafeteria. A person waiting behind you in line nudges you lightly and says, ‘I really like your style’.
Now imagine scenario numero dos: you’ve been working on a university project which took you a lot of time (and nerves) to finish. Once you do, your teacher sends you an email: ‘I am highly impressed by your work. The way you approach the topic is very unique compared to other papers I read. Looking forward to reading more of your work’.
How do you react?
How do you feel?
These seemingly trivial scenarios hold an immense power.
One of the biggest human hacks: appreciation.
Let me tell you a little story.
When I was a kid I used to make ‘I love you’-cards for my dad’s birthday. Every year I would take a blank sheet of paper, fold it in two and just… write. Poems about how much I love him, songs about how much I love him, love letters. I felt passionate about the possibilities to express my love through spoken or written words. Let’s not forget that every year I would use different colors for my creations, which was a thought-out procedure. To make it even more attractive.
After the birthday dinner and blowing the candles, I would proudly place my creation in his hands. Every year my dad would have about the same reaction. He would say, ‘Ohh, what is it?’, with an exaggerated shocked face expression, placing his hand on his cheek and mouth wide open. He would open the card and let me read it out loud. As I was reading it, he would just nod his head in silence and smile. Then he would say, ‘Ahh, beauuutiful. Thank you.’
I would then happily eat my cake knowing that my mission to tell my dad how much I loved him has been accomplished this year. I was sure that every year he couldn’t wait for another creation.
And just like every other ‘I love you’-card, he would stack this one somewhere in his closet with all the other cards.
I felt appreciated, but did he?
It took me quite some time to understand that maybe dad would rather spend some time with me than listen intently to the 99 reasons why I love him.
And it wasn’t because he didn’t appreciate the card, he called it ‘beauuutiful’ after all ;). (And let’s not forget that it had different colors each year, which made it even more attractive.)
He just has a different love language. Like all of us do.
Wait, love language?! So, apart from English, Spanish, Arabic and over 6000 different world languages we also have… a love language?
Definitely! But there are a little less than 6000 of them…
There are actually 5 Love Languages! These are:
Words of affirmation: People with this love language express appreciation through spoken or written words, e.g. through love letters.
Gifts: People with this love language express their caring through giving little gifts, “tokens of appreciation”.
Physical touch: People with this love language express appreciation through touch – these are the real huggers and cuddlers!
Acts of service: People with this love language express appreciation by doing things for their loved ones, e.g. cooking them a dinner, crafting something for them.
Quality time: People with this love language express their care with their time. They simply want to be in the presence of the person they love.
After giving it a lot of thought and intently observing what my dad enjoys I decided to change something. For his following birthday I planned a special family ‘dinner and dessert’-party, instead of writing him another creative piece. I could see my dad was much happier to sit down and talk with us than to read my love letter. He felt more appreciated to spend quality time with us than to hear verbally how much we love him.
Looking at it, what would you say my love language is, considering my little story?
And what’s my dad’s love language?
If you answered ‘words of affirmation’ for me and ‘quality time’ for my dad, you’re not wrong! Although I do also associate myself with other love languages.
Here’s a challenge for you!
Think about a person you care about and try to identify their love language. Then ask this person what they think your love language is. Let’s see how well you know each other!
Perhaps there are several languages you associate yourself with and you’re not entirely sure which one is yours. That’s also common. Your love language can change over time. You can take an online quiz to see which one is closest to you for now!
Who knows, maybe this knowledge can even change some of your relationships?
Hopefully, you know more about how you can make someone else feel appreciated now! Let us know what your favourite compliment is to give someone, and what your primary love language is in the comments below. Remember: don’t forget to give someone a compliment today! ;)
About the author
Sometimes, we invite students and staff members to contribute to our blog page. This is one of those occasions. :)